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OKC Museum of Art jumps into spring with new exhibitions
By: M.A. Smith

Spring is in the air. And what better way to celebrate the most colorful season than immersing oneself in the arts.

Starting next month, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is featuring several exhibitions to satisfy even a more selective palette.

Oklahoma residents can view stills from two of the 20th Century’s more engaging photographers March 15 through June 1.

“Ansel Adams: An America Perspective” is a collection of 60 of the artist’s most recognized scenes.

OKCMOA President and CEO E. Michael Whittington said the display focuses not only on his skillfulness as an artist but his accomplishments for bringing more awareness to nature.

Whittington also said Adams, born in 1902, revolutionized the photographic arts by creating what is known today as “straight photography” and considers him the first photographer to successfully brand himself with name and image recognition.

Another photography collection, “Brett Weston: Land, Sea and Sky”, was gifted by The Christian Keesee Collection’s.

This exhibition will feature 150 photographs by Weston, particularly examples from his 1940 to 1985 adventures. The naturalist stills include mud, rock and ice abstracts.
Weston’s popular travels to Baja California, Michigan, Florida, Alaska, Mexico and Japan also will be displayed.

“[Weston’s] photographs form an important part of the museum’s growing photography collection, and we are excited to expand our holdings of this important photographer’s work and now share it during this outstanding exhibition,” Whittington said.

An apparent inheritor of his father Edward Weston’s artistic abilities, younger Weston started his career at 13 with his a Graflex 3 ¼ x 4 ¼ camera.

In 1926, he started showing his stills at galleries around the nation. Weston has been honored with many distinguishing awards, including the prestigious 1929 “Film und Foto” exhibition in Stuttgart, Germany.

Sculptures on the terrace

Sculptures are the next stop for OKCMOA. And museum officials say they are thrilled to add Allan Houser to their collection.

Six bronze statues from the artist’s Centennial collection, “Allan Houser: On the Roof,” will run from May 1 through July 27.

Houser created the pieces from 1980 to 1993 and will be appropriately located on the museum’s Roof Terrance.

An educational program also will be conducted during the tour, focusing on sculpting and Houser’s history.
Other Houser events include a Drop-in Drawing from 2 to 4 p.m., May 3; Tiny Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon, May 20 and Making Memories from 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., June 9.

OKCMOA also will celebrate Houser’s birthday from 1 to 4 p.m., June 28.

Born in 1914, the renowned Apache artist was the first child born out of captivity. His parents were prisoners of war for more than 25 years, according to the website Celebrating Allan Houser.

The Oklahoma native started his career at 20 years old at the Studio School of Indian Painting at the Santa Fe Indian School.

His fame quickly took flight, and his work was featured in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Art institute of Chicago.

The murals of Lisa Hoke

“Lisa Hoke, Come on Down”, is the museum’s most recent installation and runs now through April 13.

“Come on Down” is a full-wall mural, and depicts New Yorker Lisa Hoke’s unique style.

Hoke used ordinary material one finds laying around their house – plastic cups, recycled paper and product packaging – and created a piece that measures 15 feet high and covers more than 150 feet of wall space.

“The visual beauty and title of this exhibition presents multiple meanings. Every one of these packages involve people sitting down and discussing, ‘What’s going to make somebody come on down and buy this?’” Hoke said in a statement about her work.

“Color is the thing that makes my heart pound. It’s not the logo; it’s not the printing; it’s the thrill of the color. And I can’t really explain that. It just—it’s a love mixed with over stimulation.”

OKCMOA officials say Hoke started her career working with cast iron, automobiles and wire. Now she works with everyday products cast aside by consumers.

She has been featured in more than 20 exhibitions including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the New York Public Library, the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University in New York City, the D’Amour Museum in Springfield, Mass., and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Oklahomans can tour these features from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays and major and national holidays.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older, $10 for children ages 6 to 18 and free for children ages 5 and younger. Discounts are available for college students and military with an ID.

OKCMOA offers tour discounts for groups with 15 or more people. For more information, visit the museums website at OKCMOA.com or call 405-236-3100, ext. 237.

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